Thursday, October 21, 2010

A Good Shopper = Keen Eye + Right Opportunity

I consider myself a pretty good shopper.  But, most of the time I just have a good eye.  To be a good shopper, I think you have to have that right mix of keen eye and luck.  Because finding what you want for an unbelievable price isn't just knowing where to look or what you want to pay - it's finding someone willing to sell it for less than it is worth.

Take this house for example.

You know how much they wanted for this house?  $46,000. 

Not a typo.  $46,000.

The house was built in 2002.  Is in a decent neighborhood (most of the houses I find at this price level are ex-crack houses next to current crack houses) - located about 15 minutes from downtown Austin.

3 bedrooms.  2 baths.  Obviously a foreclosure - but the price?  Maybe the kitchen is completely gutted.

Nope - still there.  Not my style, but totally functional once you add a fridge.

The only downside of the house was the fact that I found it after it had already been put under contract.  Breaks my heart.  Oh, well.  I just have to believe that our dream house hasn't come along yet.


  1. Keep looking Kai!! You're dream home absolutely WILL come along and at the right price and in the right neighborhood!! :)

    I also suggest driving around in the areas that are suitable for you to live in and ones you know the homes in the area are in price ranges you might be able to afford!

    My home had never been advertised, no for sale sign, not listed online or anything! I rented a home in the neighborhood already. And just noticed that it 'looked' empty. I saw a piece of paper in the window. So, I watched it a bit longer.

    One day, after I felt pretty confident it was empty, I got up the nerve to walk up to it and look at the paper and peak in. It was definitely empty and foreclosed.

    So, I called a friend of a friend who was a realtor and asked her if she could check into it for me.

    A week later, after looking at other foreclosures in the area...I put my offer in and paid $56K for my little foreclosure...the original house I had been eyeballing with no evidence of it actually being for sale! :)

    I found other homes, bigger, in slightly nicer neighborhoods for similar prices...but they had been DESTROYED by the previous owners and would need pretty extensive repairs (like whole kitchens, etc). My little house, while small and dated, I knew was a gem that just needed a little polish! But everything was intact and still working...other than a fridge! :)

    So, don't give up!!! And do 'drive by's' as wel. ;)

  2. Thank you for the kind and inspirational words, Erin! I can't believe your house was such a steal - great job! Your advice about looking for empty houses is something I never would have thought about, but it make so much sense. I'll be keeping my eyes peeled!